Jim Kemple - HS Synthesis

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Jim Kemple - HS Synthesis

  1. 1. Meeting Six Critical Challenges of High School Reform James Kemple MDRC Presentation for National Academy Foundation Academy Leadership Summit November 2006 [email_address] http://www.mdrc.org/publications/428/full.pdf
  2. 2. Six Critical Challenges <ul><li>Creating personalized learning environments. </li></ul><ul><li>Assisting students who enter high school with poor literacy and math skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Improving instructional content and pedagogy. </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing students for the world beyond high school. </li></ul><ul><li>Stimulating change and sustaining high performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Building knowledge about what works, what does not work and why. </li></ul>
  3. 3. High School Reform Models <ul><li>Talent Development High Schools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SLCs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>9 th Grade Success Academy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Upper Grade Career Academies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Double dose of literacy and math classes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional development and coaching </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First Things First </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Four-year theme-based SLCs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Family Advocate System </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional development and coaching </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Career Academies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Three- or Four-year career theme SLCs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic and CTE curricula </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employer partnerships </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Shared Goals for Students <ul><li>Shared goals for students: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep students in high school through graduation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide credentials needed to enter post-secondary education and employment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to succeed in higher and the labor market. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Major challenge for high schools: address all three goals for all students simultaneously. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Evaluation Findings: Strengths <ul><li>Talent Development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially strong impact on the 9th grade transition: improved attendance; increase in credits earned; higher rates of promotion to the 10th grade. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First Things First </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially strong impacts on student achievement and graduation rates in FTF’s flagship district. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Career Academies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially strong impacts on post-secondary employment and earnings for young men without limiting access to post-secondary education. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Evaluation Findings: Limitations <ul><li>Talent Development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>While 9th grade impact persisted into the upper grades, the evaluation found only limited evidence that impacts were growing or getting stronger as students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First Things First </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Results for scaling up districts did not reflect impacts from the flagship sites. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Career Academies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Programs did not have an impact, positive or negative, on academic performance or educational attainment. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Challenge 1: Creating a Personalized Learning Environment <ul><li>Evidence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SLCs promote personalized, supportive environment and positive relationships. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty advisory systems link students to a teacher who is looking out for their well-being. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not sufficient alone to raise achievement and prevent dropout. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SLCs may provide necessary platform for reforms aimed at instructional improvement, supports for post-secondary transition, and accountability. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Challenge 2: Enhancing Basic Literacy and Math Skills <ul><li>Evidence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sequential transitional courses focused on literacy and math are associated with substantial improvements in performance and promotion to 10 th grade. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Double dose, extended block periods provide key structural framework for transitional courses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A double-blocked schedule can enable students to earn more credits per year than other arrangements. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supplementary literacy and math classes in 9 th grade may improve skills and overall performance throughout high school. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Literacy across the curriculum may improve overall performance in all subject areas. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Challenge 3: Improving Instructional Content and Pedagogy <ul><li>Evidence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers benefit from well-designed curricula and lesson plans that have already been developed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher professional development and coaching appear to be necessary for building instructional capacity and responsive teaching. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student achievement may be enhanced when teachers work together to make sure that curricula and lessons are engaging, aligned, and rigorous. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Applied learning may improve academic achievement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deploying high quality teachers to ninth grade, and to other high need students, can improve overall school performance </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Challenge 4: Preparing Students for the World Beyond High School <ul><li>Evidence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Career awareness and development activities, in and outside of school, provide effective tools for transitions to employment without limiting access to college. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives not sufficient to improve preparation for college entrance. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing guidance, mentoring, and advocacy can improve preparation for transitions without limiting options for post-secondary education and employment. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Challenge 5: Stimulating Change and Sustaining High Performance <ul><li>Evidence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>External expertise and intensive support appear to be critical to capacity building. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>District support may not be a necessary condition for initiating reforms, but is required for long-term sustainability. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic reform requires assessment of what is already in place and the capacity of local personnel. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Train-the-trainer” and “distance” coaching and TA may promote high fidelity scaling up of effective reforms. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Challenge 6: Building Knowledge <ul><li>Evidence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strongest evidence is on the nature of the problems. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong evidence on the difference between high performing and low performing high schools. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Much more limited evidence on effective strategies for transforming low-performing high schools into high-performing high schools. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A focus on outcomes and not impact has left a track record of getting the wrong answer to the right question. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Promise: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to address questions about what works as well as questions about why, how, and under what circumstances. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge building is the domain of researchers, policy makers and practitioners. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Career Academies: Impacts on On-Time Graduation Evaluation Sample National Averages for Similar Students in Similar Schools Note: National average estimates are adjusted to represent a sample with the same background characteristics as those in the Evaluation Sample. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Academy Career/Tech. Non-Academy General Academic Percent Graduating On-Time 80.4 63.3 48.6 72.9 72.2
  14. 14. Judging Program Impact High School Graduation Rates 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Program A Graduation Rates (% ) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Program C Graduation Rate (% ) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Program B Graduation Rates (% ) 85 84 71 53 72 85 Academy Group Control Group
  15. 15. Caveats and Cautions <ul><li>Evidence base is limited, but improving </li></ul><ul><li>Problems are multidimensional, so must be the solutions: components are interdependent and interacting </li></ul><ul><li>Angels/devils are in the details of implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Important not to dismiss modest, but positive improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Give reform a chance: with promising interventions, staying the course can be as important as the course that is taken </li></ul>
  16. 16. Selected Resources for High School Reform Models <ul><li>Talent Development High Schools </li></ul><ul><li>( www.csos.jhu.edu/tdhs ) </li></ul><ul><li>First Things First </li></ul><ul><li>( www.irre.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>National Academy Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>( www.naf.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>Career Academy Support Network </li></ul><ul><li>( www.casn.berkeley.edu ) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Selected Resources for Research on High School Reform <ul><li>MDRC ( www.mdrc.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>Consortium for Policy Research in Education ( www.cpre.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>American Institutes for Research (AIR) </li></ul><ul><li>( www.air.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>SRI International </li></ul><ul><li>( www.sri.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>Research Triangle Institute ( www.rti.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>Mathematica Policy Research Institute ( www.mathematica.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>MPR Associates, Inc. ( www.mprinc.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>National High School Center </li></ul><ul><li>( www.betterhighschools.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform </li></ul><ul><li>( www.goodschools.gwu.edu ) </li></ul><ul><li>National Centers for Career Technical Education ( www.nccte.org ) </li></ul>

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